Facebook to mobile users: Get the facts about Messenger

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Facebook is addressing the fear associated with its Messenger application. Some mobile users are seeing a prompt atop News Feed, titled Messenger: Myths vs. Facts, according to a story in TheNextWeb.

Much of the unease over Facebook’s Messenger app — which is now the only way, other than mobile browser, that Facebook users can check and respond to messages — comes from a fear-mongering Huffington Post article and a story from a radio station, both of which have been widely circulated around the social network.

Facebook is now answering these rumors. When a user who sees the prompt taps “Learn More,” it leads them to a post explaining the truths about Facebook Messenger and privacy.

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Facebook announces ad targeting based on bandwidth connection

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Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new way to target ads: based on bandwidth connection. This will help advertisers reach users whose mobile connection may not be best for video ads or other data-hungry methods.

This new feature allows advertisers to target based on mobile connection: 2G, 3G or 4G.

Facebook Product Marketing Manager Brendan Sullivan announced this in a blog post:

Targeting by mobile network type helps advertisers choose creative that will run smoothly on any given device and connection speed. For example, serving a video ad to people in Indonesia with 2G connections may mean wasted impressions if people are unable to load the video or it buffers for minutes when clicked. Optimizing the creative — for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections — means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them.

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Instagram launches Hyperlapse, an iOS time lapse video app

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Instagram announced Tuesday another standalone app — Hyperlapse. Through Hyperlapse, which is currently only available on iOS, users can create high-quality time lapse videos.

The app includes a stabilizer which allows users to create time lapse videos, even while they’re in motion. Smartphone cinematographers can then choose a playback speed between 1x and 12x, and share the video to Instagram or Facebook. You don’t need a Facebook or Instagram account to use the app.

Hyperlapse requires iOS version 7.0 or later, and is optimized for the iPhone 5.

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App Links update: 3B+ unique URLs since April, launch of analytics and blog

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Facebook’s App Links product — aimed at helping people go straight from a News Feed post or ad into an app — has been fairly popular so far. The company announced Thursday an analytics suite, better support for Windows Phone and a blog for news about the technology.

So far, hundreds of apps such as Spotify, Hulu and Airbnb have used App Links to create more than 3 billion unique URLs.

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The Facebook marketing free ride is over

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If you want to grow your business through Facebook marketing, you will very likely have to pay for advertising.

That is the new truth.

In years past, many pages on Facebook could do all right in terms of driving sales and traffic to websites without using advertising. But now, as more pages become serious Facebook marketers, you’re battling for diminishing space in your audience’s News Feeds. Demand for impressions, views and clicks is higher than ever, while the supply of News Feed space hasn’t grown to keep up.

So while Facebook is financially free if you want to chat with friends and look at cat memes, if you are using Facebook as a tool to grow your business, advertising needs to be part of the plan.

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Facebook launches cross-device reporting for ads

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Facebook continues to make strides in becoming the “cross-platform platform,” as today the company announced a way to track performance of advertising across devices. This will enable advertisers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

Through this cross-device reporting, advertisers can see how different devices influenced a website conversion and mobile app actions, as well as the value of the website conversion. According to a recent study by Altimeter, more than 60 percent of U.S. adults use at least two devices daily, and more than 40 percent sometimes start an activity, like shopping, on one device and convert on another device.

Facebook blogged about this new capability:

Imagine seeing an ad for a product on your mobile phone while in line at the bank. Do you immediately make a purchase on your phone? Probably not. But perhaps you go back to your office later that day and buy on your desktop computer. Such cross-device conversions are becoming increasingly common as people move between their phones, tablets and desktop computers to interact with businesses.

Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur. For instance, a marketer can view the number of customers that clicked an ad on an iPhone but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people that saw an ad on desktop but then converted on an Android tablet.

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Why does Facebook Messenger require so much data?

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As Facebook is unbundling its Facebook Messenger capabilities, turning off messages within the main app, reaction from users has been swift and negative.

Much of the paranoia is fueled by a Huffington Post story from November 2013, as well as a post by a radio station in Houston — both written to stoke fear within Facebook users.

While Facebook Messenger on Android does ask for several permissions that seem privacy-invasive, these actions cannot happen without manual user action. Facebook Messenger will not call people on your behalf or alter your network for Mark Zuckerberg’s benefit.

So why does it all seem so invasive? Mashable has an amazing post breaking down every single permission the Messenger app asks for, explaining why the app needs them.

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What can the Facebook ad platform do for small businesses?

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Facebook has been going around the country, speaking with small business owners about ways to grow through the social network at Facebook Fit events. One of the most important figures, in terms of advertising for small businesses, is Facebook’s Director of Small Business — Dan Levy.

Levy talked with the 350-plus people on hand about what Facebook has to offer as not only an advertising channel, but a direct response option. Last year, Levy talked with Inside Facebook about how the small business segment is rapidly growing. Now that there are 30 million active small businesses with a page on Facebook, we caught up with Levy again to explore what’s next for advertisers.

Inside Facebook: Can you talk about how you feel the Facebook Fit events have gone so far?

Dan Levy: It’s been wonderful. We’ve always worked with lots of clients and small business owners, but to be able to put real human faces behind the numbers and human stories has been really helpful for us and really helpful for the business owners as well — to see that there’s real people at Facebook who care about their business and want them to succeed.

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Facebook for Windows Phone gets a major update

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Though iOS and Android are the predominant homes for Facebook on mobile, the Windows Phone is also a force for mobile users. On Monday, the Windows Phone app got a facelift.

This update brings into the main app features that were previously only available in beta, such as the ability to upload videos taken on the phone directly from the app. The app also supports more languages, as well as integration with Facebook Messenger.

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Facebook launches Internet.org app in Zambia

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The Internet.org movement now has a mobile presence. Facebook announced Thursday that the Internet.org app is available to those in the landlocked southern African country of Zambia.

Through this app, Airtel customers in Zambia can access these apps:

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